Handbook of Gender and Women's Studies


Edited by: Kathy Davis, Mary Evans & Judith Lorber

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Current State of Women's Studies, Gender Studies, and Studies of Men

    Part II: Cultural Representations and Critiques

    Part III: Knowledge

    Part IV: Globalization and the State

    Part V: Work and Family

    Part VI: Intimate Relationships and Sexualities

    Part VII: Embodiment in a Technological World

    Part VIII: Making Change

    Part IX: Utopian Visions

  • Introduction

    Gender and women's studies is one of the most challenging fields within the social sciences — the dynamics of gender relations and the social and cultural implications of gender constructions offer a lively forum of debate.

    The Handbook of Gender and Women's Studies presents a comprehensive and engaging review of the most recent developments within the field, including the study of masculinity, the feminist implications of postmodernism, the ‘cultural turn’ and globalization. The authors review current research and offer critical analyses of women's and gender studies in work, the welfare state, family, education, religion, violence and war, and feminist global politics.

    Edited by three leading academics from Europe and the United States, and with 25 chapters written by scholars based throughout the world, the Handbook situates the most important debates in the field within a uniquely international and interdisciplinary context. The Handbook is a useful introduction to gender theory and an exciting starting point for fresh debates.

    ‘This is an excellent and timely addition to the literature on Gender and Women's Studies. Each chapter explores contemporary questions and dilemmas in feminist theory and research, assessing the impacts of past research and feminist actions. Leading scholars discuss such topics as the state of women's and gender studies, feminist epistemology, cultural representations, globalization and the state, families, and work. This book is sure to be an essential resource for gender scholars and students’

    JoanAckerUniversity of Oregon

    ‘This breathtakingly broad, interdisciplinary reader demonstrates how widely feminist thinking has spread, how deeply it has shaken settled assumptions in the disciplines and how much new light it throws on contemporary controversies. This volume offers not only a reference manual to what we now know about gender relations as social forces but also gives impetus to future thinking in imaginative and utopian ways about questions of gender, power and knowledge’

    Myra MarxFerreeUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison

    ‘This is a timely intervention and highly engaged, thoughtful and scholarly analysis of the state of gender and women's studies in the west by three eminent feminist scholars who have been centrally involved in feminist struggles and scholarship for some time. They have an acute understanding of what matters to feminism and bring together a wide range of essential new readings on gender works and gender troubles. Highly cognisant of the central issues that have fractured, blocked and enhanced western feminism they provide a contextual and political understanding of change and sustained normativity in gender relations. The Handbook ends with a call for gendered trouble making. Following the achievemnent of this handbook, it seems to be the least we as readers can do’

    Professor BevSkeggsGoldsmiths College

    ‘The Handbook gives a pedagogically well structured and thoroughly updated overview over discussions of central issues in contemporary women's and gender studies, including critical studies of men and masculinities. The comprehensiveness and the interdisciplinary range of themes are impressive, and they make the Handbook into a wonderful tool for teachers and students of women's and gender studies. It fulfills an obvious and pressing need for easy accessible overview of the literature. The Handbook strikes a good balance between overview and critically situated analysis, relevant for courses in Women's and Gender Studies on many levels’

    NinaLykkeDirector of Nordic Research School in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, Linkoeping University


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    Sharyn Roach Anleu is Professor of Sociology at Flinders University, Adelaide, and a past president of the Australian Sociological Association. She was one of three editors of the Journal of Sociology and is the author of Law and Social Change (Sage, 2000). She has just completed a fourth edition of Deviance, Conformity and Control (Pearson Education, Sydney, 2005). Her areas of research include legal regulation of reproduction, women and the legal profession, and criminal justice processes. She is currently undertaking research with Kathy Mack on magistrates and their courts in Australia.

    Lorraine Code is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at York University in Toronto, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In addition to numerous articles and chapters in books, and four co-edited books, she has published Epistemic Responsibility (University Press of New England, 1987), What Can She Know? Feminist Theory and the Construction of Knowledge (Cornell University Press, 1991), and Rhetorical Spaces: Essays on (Gendered) Locations (Routledge, 1995). She is General Editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories (2000), editor of Feminist Interpretations of Hans-Georg Gadamer (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), and with Kathryn Hamer has translated Michèle Le Doeuff's Le Sexe du savoir as The Sex of Knowing (Routledge, 2003). Her latest book is Ecological Thinking: The Politics of Epistemic Location (Oxford University Press, 2006). She is currently working on questions generated by the new epistemologies of ignorance, on knowing across differences, and on developing a moral epistemology sensitive to vulnerability.

    Rosemary Crompton is Professor of Sociology at City University, London. She has researched and published widely in the areas of stratification and employment, particularly women's employment. Her books include Class and Stratification (Polity, 1998) and Restructuring Gender Relations and Employment (Oxford University Press, 2000). She is currently working on a book entitled Employment and the Family, to be published by Cambridge University Press, and beginning a new project linked to the Economic and Social Research Council Gender Equality Network (GeNet). She is a past editor of Work, Employment and Society.

    Kathy Davis is Senior Researcher at the Research Institute of History and Culture (OGC) at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Born in the United States, she has taught psychology and women's studies at various universities in the Netherlands. She is the author of Dubious Equalities and Embodied Differences (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), Reshaping the Female Body (Routledge, 1995), Power Under the Microscope (Foris, 1988), and the editor of Embodied Practices: Feminist Perspectives on the Body (Sage, 1997) as well as several books on gender, power, and discourse. She is currently finishing a book on feminist knowledge and how it travels, based on the feminist classic on women's health, Our Bodies, Ourselves. Together with Mary Evans, she is editor of the European Journal of Women's Studies.

    Manisha Desai is Acting Director, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Associate Director of the Program in South Asia and Middle Eastern Perspectives at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her areas of interest are social movements, gender, globalization and human rights. She is currently finishing a book, Rethinking Globalization (Rowman & Littlefield). She has published two edited books, Women's Issues in Asia and Oceania (Greenwood, 2003) and Women's Activism and Globalization: Linking Local Struggles with Transnational Politics (Routledge, 2002, with Nancy Naples). She has also published numerous articles and book chapters; the latest one is ‘Transnational Feminist Politics: The Face of Women's Movements Post-Beijing’ for a special issue of the International Social Science Journal on Beijing Plus Ten. She has also worked as a Senior Programme Officer with UNESCO in its Gender, Equality and Development Section.

    Carolyn DiPalma is Associate Professor Emerita of Women's Studies at the University of South Florida. Her research interests include epistemology and method, feminist theory, body politics, feminist pedagogy, and women's health. Her publications include essays in the Journal of Medical Humanities, Theory & Event, Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science and Technology, Asian Journal of Women's Studies, Intertexts, Women's Studies Quarterly, and in The Teacher's Body: Embodiment, Authority, and Identity in the Academy and Reader's Guide to Women's Studies. She is co-editor of Teaching Introduction to Women's Studies: Expectations and Strategies (Bergin & Garvey, 1999).

    Barbara Einhorn is Reader in Gender Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex. She has published on issues of gender, citizenship, civil society, nation, and women's movements, especially in the context of transformation in Central and Eastern Europe. Her publications include Cinderella Goes to Market: Citizenship, Gender and Women's Movements in East Central Europe (Verso, 1993) and Citizenship in a Uniting Europe: From Dream to Awakening(Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). She is currently working on a book project provisionally entitled No Homecoming: Narratives of ‘Home’ and Belonging, Exile and Return, which is concerned with questions of nation and identity, ‘home’, and belonging in German-Jewish multiple migrants.

    Mary Evans is Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Kent, Canterbury, where she has taught Women's Studies and Sociology for over thirty years. With Kathy Davis, she is the editor of the European Journal of Women's Studies. Her main research interests have been in feminist theory and literature. Recent publications include Missing Persons: The Impossibility of Auto/Biography (Routledge, 1999), Love: An Unromantic Discussion (Polity, 2003), Gender and Social Theory (Open University Press, 2003), and Killing Thinking (Compendium Books, 2004). The last publication reflects her most recent interest in modernity as bureaucracy and its impact on intellectual life.

    Kathy E. Ferguson is Professor of Women's Studies and Political Science at the University of Hawai'i. She teaches and writes about feminist theories and research methods, contemporary critical theory, and global/national/local militarisms. She is currently writing a book on Emma Goldman's political thinking and co-editing a volume on gender and globalization in Asia and the Pacific. Her books include Oh, Say, Can You See? The Semiotics of the Military in Hawaii, with Phyllis Turnbull (University of Minnesota Press, 1999) and The Man Question: Visions of Subjectivity in Feminist Theory (University of California Press, 1993).

    Gabriele Griffin is Professor of Gender Studies at the University of Hull. Her research centers on Women's Studies as a discipline and on women's contemporary cultural production. Among her recent publications are Contemporary Black and Asian Women Playwrights in Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Thinking Differently: A Reader in European Women's Studies (Zed Books, 2002; co-edited with Rosi Braidotti). She is co-founding editor of the journal Feminist Theory. In recent years she has worked extensively on EU-funded projects; in October 2003 she completed ‘Women's Employment, Equal Opportunities and Women's Studies’ (http://www.hull.ac.uk/ewsi), and between 2004 and 2007 she is co-ordinating a project on integrated research methods for the humanities and social sciences.

    Wendy Cealey Harrison was, until recently, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Greenwich, London, and is now is Head of its Learning and Quality Unit. She is the author, with John Hood-Williams, of Beyond Sex and Gender (Sage, 2002) and of a number of articles on the work of Judith Butler and on the reconceptualization of gender and sexual difference. Her research interests lie predominantly in the field of post-structuralist theory and psychoanalysis and, in particular, in the ways in which their insights can be reconciled with more conventional forms of natural-scientific enquiry. She is a member of the International Neuro-Psychoanalysis Society.

    Jeff Hearn is Professor, Swedish School of Economics, Helsinki; Linköping University; and University of Huddersfield. He was previously Research Professor, University of Manchester, and has worked at the Universities of Bradford, Oslo, Tampere and Åbo Akademi. His books include: ‘Sex’ at ‘Work’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 1987/1995), The Sexuality ofOrganization (Sage, 1989), Men in the Public Eye (Routledge, 1992), Men as Managers, Managers as Men (Sage, 1996), Hard Work in the Academy (Helsinki University Press, 1999), Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Organizations (Sage, 2001), Information Society and the Workplace (Routledge, 2004), and Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities (Sage, 2005), and European Perspectives on Men and Masculinities (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). He is co-editor of the journal Men and Masculinities. He was Principal Contractor of the EU Research Network ‘The Social Problem of Men’ and is currently researching ‘Men, Gender Relations and Transnational Organising, Organisations and Management’.

    Clare Hemmings is Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. Her current research and teaching are divided into three overlapping areas of enquiry in gender and sexuality studies: critical practices and histories, patterns of institutionalization, and cultural translation. Her first book Bisexual Spaces was published by Routledge in 2002, and she is currently completing a second book, Telling Feminist Stories.

    Chrys Ingraham is Professor of Sociology, Director of the Helen M. Upton Center for Women's Studies at Russell Sage College, Troy, NY. A specialist in feminist theory, gender studies, social inequality, popular culture, and social theory, Ingraham is a leading international contributor to the field of critical heterosexual studies. She is author of ‘The Heterosexual Imaginary: Feminist Sociology and Theories of Gender’, in the journal Sociological Theory (1994), co-editor of Materialist Feminism: A Reader in Class, Difference, and Women's Lives (Routledge, 1997), author of White Weddings: Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Culture (Routledge, 1999), and editor of Thinking Straight: The Power, the Promise, and the Paradox of Heterosexuality (Routledge, 2005).

    Suzanne Kessler is Kempner Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences at Purchase College, State University of New York. She is the author of Lessons From the Intersexed (Rutgers University Press, 1998) and co-author of Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach (University of Chicago Press, 1978) as well as author of many articles on the social construction of gender.

    Michael S. Kimmel is Professor of Sociology at State University of New York at Stony Brook. His books include Changing Men (Sage, 1987), Men Confront Pornography (Meridian Books, 1990), Men's Lives (6th edition, Allyn and Bacon, 2003), Against the Tide: Profeminist Men in the United States, 1776–1990 (Diane Publishing Company, 1992), The Politics of Manhood (Temple University Press, 1996), Manhood: A Cultural History (Oxford University Press, 1996), The Gendered Society (2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2003), Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities (Sage, 2005), The Gender of Desire (SUNY Press, 2005), and The History of Men (SUNY Press, 2005). He is editor of Men and Masculinities, an interdisciplinary scholarly journal, a book series on Men and Masculinity at the University of California Press, and the Sage Series on Men and Masculinities. He is the spokesperson for the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) and lectures extensively on campuses in the United States and abroad.

    Molly Monahan Lang is Assistant Professor of sociology at Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, OH, where she teaches a variety of courses including Family, Social Inequalities, SPSS: Data Analysis, and Caregiving in Society. Her previous research on violence against women in families can be seen in Journal of Marriage and Family. She has also researched the challenges and inequalities faced in a particular kind of caregiving work (hospice), as it undergoes the process of rationalization.

    Diana Leonard is Professor of Sociology of Education and Gender at the Institute of Education, University of London and Honorary Professor at Deakin Universtiy, Melbourne. She has published extensively on the sociology of gender and the family, including Familiar Exploitation: A New Analysis of Marriage in Contemporary Western Societies (with Christine Delphy, Polity, 1992, reprinted 1996) and conducted research on gender and learning among 10-year-olds, violence resilient (secondary) schools, and, currently, the long-term consequences of single- and mixed-sex schooling. Her other interests include diversity in the experiences of doctoral students, as published in A Woman's Guide to Doctoral Studies (Open University Press, 2001) and a report on the Experiences of International Students in UK Higher Education for UKCOSA: The Council for International Education, 2003.

    Judith Lorber is Professor Emerita of Sociology and Women's Studies at Brooklyn College and the Graduate School, City University of New York. She is the author of Breaking the Bowls: Degendering and Feminist Change (W.W. Norton, 2005), Gender Inequality: Feminist Theories and Politics (Roxbury, 3rd edition, 2005), Gender and the Social Construction of Illness (Altamira, 2nd edition, 2002, with Lisa Jean Moore), Paradoxes of Gender (Yale University Press, 1994; Italian translation, L'Inventione dei sessi; German translation, Gender-Paradoxien), and Women Physicians: Careers, Status and Power (Tavistock, 1984). She is co-editor of Revisioning Gender (Sage, 1999, with Myra Marx Ferree and Beth B. Hess) and The Social Construction of Gender (Sage, 1991, with Susan A. Farrell). She is the Founding Editor of Gender & Society, official publication of Sociologists for Women in Society.

    Wendy McKenna is Associate Professor of Psychology at Barnard College and Professor of Sociology at Purchase College, State University of New York. She is a certified sex educator and a licensed psychologist. She is co-author of Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach (University of Chicago Press, 1978). Her most recent writing is on the topic of transgender.

    David Morgan has recently retired from the Sociology Department at the University of Manchester. He holds a part-time appointment at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim. He is the author of several books and articles on masculinities and family studies, including Discovering Men (Routledge, 1992) and Family Connections (Polity, 1996). He is a former President of the British Sociological Association.

    Baukje Prins is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. She is the author of Voorbij de onschuld (Beyond Innocence, 2nd revised edition, 2004), on the Dutch discourse on ethnic minorities and multiculturalism. Currently she is working on a book with the provisional title Een (on)gewone klas (Accidental Classmates), on the history and dynamics of everyday inter-ethnic relationships in the Netherlands since the early 1960s. She has been an editor of the (Dutch) journal of philosophy Krisis, and is currently editor of Migrantenstudies. She has been a visiting researcher at the History of Consciousness Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and at the Institute for Women's Studies, University of Lancaster.

    Barbara J. Risman is Alumni Distinguished Research Professor at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She is the author of Gender Vertigo: American Families in Transition (Yale University Press, 1998) and nearly two-dozen articles, including ‘Gender as Structure: Theory Wrestling with Activism’ in Gender & Society. She is the co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families, a national organization of experts dedicated to providing information to the public and the media about the changes currently taking place in families.

    Sasha Roseneil is Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Leeds, and Professor II in the Centre for Women's Studies and Gender Research at the University of Oslo. She is the author of Disarming Patriarchy (Open University Press,1995) and Common Women, Uncommon Practices: The Queer Feminisms ofGreenham (Cassell, 2000). She is one of the founding editors of the journal Feminist Theory. She is also editor or co-editor of Stirring It: Challenges for Feminism (Taylor & Francis, 1994), PractisingIdentities (Macmillan, 1999), Consuming Cultures (Macmillan, 1999), Globalization and Social Movements (Palgrave, 2000), and special issues of Citizenship Studies (2000), Feminist Theory (2001, 2003), Current Sociology (2004), and Social Politics (2004). Her latest book is Sociability, Sexuality, Self (Routledge, 2007).

    Irmgard Schultz is one of the founders of the Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung (ISOE, Institute for Social-ecological Research) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She is currently the head of ISOE's research department on ‘Everyday Ecology and Consumption’. Her main fields of research are concepts of transdisciplinary and gender-integrated environmental studies. Since the 1980s, she has published many feminist essays and books on gender and the environment. Together with Ines Weller she co-edited Gender and Environment (IKO-Verlag, 1995); and with Andreas Nebelung and Angelika Poferl she co-edited Geschlechterverhältnisse, Naturverhältnisse (Leske and Budrich, 2001).

    Miri Song is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She is a Korean-American who has lived in the UK since 1991. Her books include Choosing Ethnic Identity (Polity, 2003) and Helping Out: Children's Labor in Ethnic Businesses (Temple University Press, 1999). Her research interests include ‘race’ and ethnic identity, immigrant adaptation, the second generation, and Internet use by minority groups.

    Liz Stanley is Professor of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. Formerly editor of Sociology and of Women's Studies International Forum, she is also founding editor of Sociological Research Online and Auto/ Biography. Her recent books include Imperialism, Labour and the New Woman: Olive Schreiners Social Theory (Sociology Press, 2002) and Mourning Becomes … Post/Memory, Commemoration and the Concentration Camps of the South African War (Manchester University Press and Rutgers University Press, 2006).

    Joan C. Tronto is Professor of Political Science at Hunter College, City University of New York. Her scholarly writings are in feminist ethics, political theory, and women in politics in the United States. Her essays have appeared in Signs, Hypatia, Feminist Studies, Feminist Theory, and in numerous anthologies. She is a proponent for using care ethics as a basis for political theory and public policy, an argument expounded in her book Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care (Routledge, 1993), currently being translated into French and Italian. She also co-edited a volume with Cathy Cohen and Kathy Jones, Women Transforming Politics (New York University Press, 1997), and is currently completing a book, Democratic Caring, forthcoming from New York University Press.

    Clare Ungerson is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Southampton, and currently Honorary Professor of Social Policy at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She has published widely on urban policy and race relations and on gender and social policy, often using a cross-national perspective. Her books include Policy is Personal: Sex, Gender and Informal Care (Tavistock, 1987), Women and Social Policy - A Reader (Palgrave Macmillan, 1996), Gender and Caring - Women, Work and Welfare in Britain and Scandinavia (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990). Most recently, she has directed a research project funded as part of the British Economic and Social Research Council ‘Future of Work Programme’, which looked at the way informal unpaid care carried out by kin is being ‘commodified’ and paid within many modern welfare states.

    Jutta Weber is Guest Professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen. She also works at the Department for Philosophy of Science, University of Vienna, on a project, ‘Sociality with Machines’ in the field of ‘social robots’ and software agents (http://www.univie.ac.at/soziale_maschinen/). Her main interests are science and technology studies, epistemology, philosophy of science, social and feminist theory. Recent publications include: ‘Helpless machines and true loving caregivers: a feminist critique of recent trends in human-robot interaction’, Journal of Information Communication and Ethics in Society (2005), Umkämpfte Bedeutungen: Naturkonzepte im Zeitalter der Technoscience (Contested Meanings: Concepts of Nature in the Age of Technoscience) (Campus, 2003). She is currently working on a book on robotics, gender and techoscience studies.

    Bronwyn Winter is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of French Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research areas include: women, culture, ethnicity and religion, human rights, militarism and globalization, feminist theory, and lesbian politics. Recent publications include: September 11, 2001: Feminist Perspectives (contributing co-editor with Susan Hawthorne, Spinifex Press, 2002), republished in 2003 by Raincoast Books as After Shock; ‘Fundamental Misunderstandings: Issues in Feminist Approaches to Islamism’, in the Journal of Women's History (2001); ‘Pauline and Other Perils: Women in Australian Right-Wing Politics’, in Right-Wing Women (2002). Forthcoming work includes: ‘Religion, culture and women's human rights’, Women's Studies International Forum; ‘Secularism aboard the Titanic: feminists and the debate over the hijab in France’, Feminist Studies. Work in progress: books on the French hijab debate and on women, culture, and domination.

    Sue Wise is Professor of Social Justice and Social Work at Lancaster University. Her main research interests are concerned with the exploitation and oppression of children. Among her books are Breaking Out: Feminist Research and Feminist Consciousness (Routledge, 1983) and Breaking OutAgain: Feminist Ontology and Epistemology (Routledge, 1993), both written with Liz Stanley.

    Dubravka Zarkov is Senior Lecturer in Gender, Conflict and Development Studies at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague. Her research and teaching are on gender and violent conflict, with a focus on intersectionality of gender and on media representations of war and violence. Her regional interest is in former Yugoslavia and South Asia. She co-edited The Postwar Moment: Militaries, Masculinities and International Peacekeeping (Lawrence and Wishart, 2002, with Cynthia Cockburn). Her forthcoming books are The Fe/Male Body and the Productive Power of Violence: On ‘Media War’ and Ethnic War in Former Yugoslavia (Duke University Press, 2006) and Gender, Violent Conflict, Development: Challenges of Practice (Zubaan/Kali for Women, 2006). She is a member of the Advisory Council of Women's Initiative for Gender Justice.


    The editors would like to take this opportunity to thank first and foremost the many contributors to this collection, who have written papers which so much enhance women's and gender studies. Our thanks to all our authors for their chapters and for their help in making the various additions and changes so swiftly and surely. We owe an equal debt to Karen Phillips of Sage for first suggesting that this handbook should be compiled and for her grace and assistance (and that of her colleagues) in the many months of preparation.

    Finally, Mary Evans would like to thank her co-editors for their endless support and sisterly concern at a difficult time. In large part, the handbook has emerged out of the collective enterprise that is feminism, and we hope that it will make a contribution to its ongoing dialogues.

    KathyDavis, MaryEvans, JudithLorber

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